Yanks, Blue Jays jockey for position in the Bronx
(SportsNetwork.com) - Winless since the start of June, the task doesn't get any easier for Toronto's Mark Buehrle on Friday night with the veteran scheduled to go up against a longtime adversary.
Buehrle looks to beat the New York Yankees for only the second time in his career as the Blue Jays begin a three-game series in the Bronx.
The 35-year-old Buehrle appeared on his way to a career season nearly two months ago, improving to 10-1 with a victory over Kansas City on June 1. His earned run average at the time stood at 2.10.
However, Buehrle has gone 0-5 with a 4.06 ERA in eight starts since, losing once to the Yankees in two starts over that time. His setback in New York on June 18 was his eighth consecutive losing decision to the Yankees and he is just 1-11 against them lifetime with a 5.81 ERA.
The left-hander escaped with a no-decision versus Texas last time out on Sunday, giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks over six innings. He is 10-6 on the year with a 2.86 ERA.
Both the Blue Jays and Yankees are putting heat on Baltimore in the race for first place in the American League East. Toronto and New York both find themselves three games back of the front-running Orioles thanks to some recent surges.
The Blue Jays saw starter Marcus Stroman carry a no-hitter into the seventh inning of Thursday's 8-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Stroman ended up allowing one hit over seven scoreless frames, while Juan Francisco ended a double shy of the cycle, hitting a two-run homer and driving in four.
But the true spotlight was on Stroman, who walked two and struck out seven to help Toronto go 5-2 on a seven-game homestand.
"He pitched a hell of a game today," said Toronto catcher Dioner Navarro, whose club now begins a 10-game road trip.
The Yankees, meanwhile, have lost just once in seven games since the All-Star break and took the final three of a four-game set with Texas by winning Thursday's finale 4-2.
Brandon McCarthy pitched six strong innings for his second straight win, striking out five and giving up one run on four hits and two walks. The Yankees have won all three of his starts since acquiring the right-hander from the Diamondbacks on July 6 for Vidal Nuno.
"They put up some long at-bats against him," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "But he just kept at it, kept throwing strikes. ... He just found a way to get through it."
The Yankees next turn to 39-year-old Hiroki Kuroda, who is 6-6 with a 3.88 ERA on the year.
Kuroda did not factor into a 3-2 win over Cincinnati on Sunday, charged with one unearned run over 6 2/3 innings. The righty worked around three hits and two walks, striking out six.
Kuroda is 5-3 with a 3.86 ERA in his career versus Toronto, including a recent road win on June 25. He gave up three runs over 6 1/3 frames of work.
The Yankees have won six of nine versus the Blue Jays this season, including a three-game sweep at home from June 17-19.
07/25 11:07:32 ET